(b. 1660, Dordrecht, d. 1719, Amsterdam)


Dutch painter, etcher and writer, part of a family of artists. Although a competent artist, Arnold Houbraken is best known as a writer. His three-volume Groote schouburgh (The Great Theatre of Dutch Painters, 1718-21), the last volume of which was published posthumously, is generally regarded as one of the most important sources on the lives of 17th-century Dutch artists - despite its many omissions and errors. As an artist, he was taught by Jacobus Levecq and Samuel van Hoogstraten in Dordrecht and went on to have a relatively successful studio in Dordrecht and Amsterdam. He specialized in small scale, precise history paintings, portraits and gentile genre scenes.

Houbraken's son Jacobus Houbraken (1698-1780) was a reproductive engraver, specializing in portraiture. Jacobus's sister Antonyna Houbraken (1686-1736) made topographical and portrait drawings, as well as designs for vignettes and a title-page.

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